Yesterday LinkedIn notified me that my close friend from university got promoted. The simple act of congratulating him resulted in not being able to sleep for half of the night.
It was not the first time this happened. Over the past 10 years my mind has decided to go back to those times more frequently than I wished.
Every time I lie in bed, remembering how close we were. He was the perfect friend, supportive, a great sense of humor, down to earth – and handsome. We studied Economics together, both feeling a bit like we didn’t belong to those rich kids striving for great careers, already driving their BMWs to university. Being different than the other students and struggling with the overwhelming drop-out exams didn’t matter too much, as we had each other laughing about every challenge we faced.
Did I mention that he was handsome?
Okay let’s not beat around the bushes, I completely fell for him.
So it might be understandable that from time to time “friends” turned into “friends with benefits”. But when we met again the next time everything was back to “friends”. I don’t remember exactly how things developed. What I remember though is, that even my best friend got annoyed by my hopes for a romantic relationship with him.
Than one day, out of the blue, I met my prince (as my father calls him) who is my partner ever since. Maybe as a result, my friend and I grew apart soon and he moved to another country to start his career.
Now when my heart attacks my mind at night, when I am up thinking about him, I can’t help but wonder what could have been, would have been, should have been. It haunts me. The more time passes, the more I fill the gaps in my memories with imagination, probably with the most romantic scenario that I am able to construct.
What haunts me is not the wish for a different partner or a different life. I am so blessed to have my future husband as a partner in crime and couldn’t wish for anything else. What keeps me sticking to these what-if-thoughts is the feeling that I didn’t go for it. I did not try. I was too embarrassed to talk openly. I never found the courage to say what’s on my heart. I was too afraid to be rejected, to be humiliated, to be weak or sad.
Did I thereby fulfill my own prophecy?
I recently heard a tedtalk about the power of vulnerability. Brene Brown – the speaker – talked about the original meaning of courage which is “to tell the story of who you are with all your heart”. How you need to make yourself vulnerable in order to be fully seen and deeply connect to other people.
You need to make yourself vulnerable in order to be fully seen and deeply connect to other people.Tweet
It seems I was not ready for this back then. Which makes me think: now that I want to change my life and this thing still keeps me up at night – am I ready now? Do I have the courage to tell him how I felt when we were together, with the risk of embarrassing myself? Maybe he has fully forgotten about it. Maybe he doesn’t give a shit.
Still it fells important to me. Firstly, to close this chapter and come to peace with it. Secondly, to prove to myself that I a am strong enough today to be weak. And Thirdly, because I want to tell my friend that I miss him as my friend. Even if he is doing great without me, I would love to know that he knows he is valued, missed and important to another person out there.
So I am going to call him. I am going to talk to him. Break the circle of hiding behind nonsense-jokes and distance. Given my journey into the unknown I think it is a suitable challenge for me to do something I avoided to do for so long.
Wish me luck. Or better than that: Push me. because I am already f***ing scared.